One of the boys from St. Charles is really beginning to understand and internalize the way running can help him handle stress. This little guy, whom I will call Jimmy, has lived in more than 12 foster homes in his short life, and is getting ready to move into yet another one. Needless to say, he is agitated. Since he has not yet experienced a permanent home that was right for him, he has a lot of anxiety about moving to this next home. The way he sees it, why should he expect this home to be any different from the others?
Last week, Jimmy asked Sister Maximilian if he could go with her on her second run. Ordinarily Sister Maximilian runs 8 miles a day. The first 4 miles are with the more experienced group of kids who run a little faster. The second 4 miles are with beginners. Ordinarily, she would not allow a child to run 8 miles in one day. However, given Jimmy’s level of stress and the fact that he was asking for the extra time running, she approved. Jimmy had a great run and one of the nicest evenings he has had in a while. Sister was excited because this showed that he really is starting to understand how running can affect the way he feels. We don’t know if he will ask for an extra run again, but if he does, Sister will allow him to put in an extra 4 miles every once in a while. Hopefully, this will be a lesson he takes with him into adulthood to help him cope with the stresses of life.